On Mikolai Statkevich, Mikalai Dziadok, and other political prisoners in Belarus: Statement to the PC

The United States is concerned by recent developments in the treatment of political prisoners in Belarus.

On May 4, former presidential candidate Mikolai Statkevich was sentenced to harsher prison conditions and increased security measures for alleged violations of prison rules. Mr. Statkevich is serving a six-year sentence related to his participation in peaceful protests following the December 2010 Belarusian presidential elections.

We are similarly concerned by the April 30 denial of Mikalai Dziadok’s appeal of a February court decision that extended his prison term by one year for alleged prison rules violations. Mr. Dziadok was scheduled to be released in March 2015.

We renew our call on the government of Belarus to release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally and to restore fully their political and civil rights.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna